Rice Krispie Jack-O’-Lantern Halloween Treat Recipe

Rice Krispie Jack-O’-Lantern Halloween Treat RecipePhotos by ©Kevin Kenefick, food styling by Norma Miller, illustrations by ©Michael Slack.



  • 1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons butter plus more for your hands
  • Red and Yellow liquid coloring or orange paste coloring
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies (you’ll use most of one 12-ounce box for the complete recipe, including stems)


  • 2 cups marshmallows
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • Green liquid or paste coloring
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

  • 2

    To make the pumpkins, melt the marshmallows and butter together in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and mix in 6 drops of red and 3 drops of yellow coloring or a dab of orange paste; add more coloring if you want a deeper orange shade.

  • 3

    Pour in the cereal and stir quickly to combine. Butter your hands and scoop up about ½ cup of the mixture (it cools quickly; you should be able to handle it) and form into a rounded pumpkin shape with a dent in the top for the stem. Press lightly so the pumpkins don’t become to dense. Place on the baking sheet. You should be able to make 12 pumpkins.

  • 4

    To make the second batch for the stems, melt the marshmallows and butter together in a smaller saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and mix in 6 to 8 drops of green liquid coloring or a dab of paste to get a bright shade.

  • 5

    Pour in the cereal and stir quickly to combine. Butter your hands and shape a long tapered stem for each pumpkin (the stem should be about as long as the pumpkin is high), pressing them into the pumpkin tops while the stems are still slightly warm. Give the stems and elegant curve.

  • 6

    Make the faces. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. Let the chocolate cool slightly and pour it into a small ziplock bag. Cut off a very tiny bit of one corner of the bag to allow a slender line of chocolate to emerge. Pipe grinning chocolate face on your jack-o’-lanterns.

  • 7

    Cool completely before gobbling down at once or storing in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Make Colored Paste

Liquid food coloring that comes in the little 4-pack of red, blue, green, and yellow is a standard pantry item in many households. But if you want more intense shades of color – such as orange or black – that don’t affect the quality of the food, paste is the professional secret. Once available only in professional bakeshops or by mail order, paste colorings are increasingly available in well-stocked grocery stores and even, around the holidays, in specialty baking sections in big-box stores. When you first try paste color, you may be surprised at the intensity of the shades you can achieve with just a dab. Be sure to start gingerly, with tiny amounts, and build up to your desired shade.

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